Salima Burke, a member of the class of 2012 at the University of Virginia School of Law, is the winner of the 2012 Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award.


The award, named for a late Virginia civil rights litigator, recognizes a law student's commitment to uncompensated or minimally compensated pro bono work and other public service. It is bestowed by the VSB Committee on Access to Legal Services.


While a full-time law student, Ms. Burke still contributed more than 480 hours of pro bono work. She has volunteered with the Musawah Islamic Law Project, Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates, Catholic Charities Community Services' Department of Immigration Services, the Language Access Court Monitoring Project at the Legal Aid Justice Center, Wills for Seniors, and the Elder Advocacy and Housing Clinics at the Legal Aid Justice Center.


She also logged additional hours working for student organizations such as the International Human Rights Program (Pro Bono Project Coordinator), Child Advocacy Research and Education (President), and the Public Interest Law Association. She participated in the Advocacy Clinic for the Elderly where she represented indigent seniors in a variety of legal matters including wills, guardianships, and Medicaid/Medicare benefits, and she participates in the Housing Law Clinic where she assists low-income clients threatened with eviction or facing substandard living conditions.


Ms. Burke lives in Bedford. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her master's degree from Georgetown University.


She was nominated by Kimberly Carpenter Emery, Assistant Dean for Pro Bono and Public Interest. "Prior to coming to the law school, Salima had a career in international education and worked as a training coordinator for server NGOs," she wrote. "Salima is committed to finding ways to serve low-income populations and genuinely cares about their lack of access to the legal system."

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